Tsukumizu’s Girl’s Last Tour, volume five was first published in 2017. The Yen Press English translation was published in late 2018. It collects chapters 33 to 40 of Tsukumizu’s ongoing tale of two girls, Yuuri and Chito, wandering a desolate, doomed Earth.
Yuuri and Chito have food but lack water. Chance is on their side for the moment; they find a potential source of water. Potential …
When a mishap sidelines Chito, the pair are forced to embrace an unthinkable option: letting Yuuri drive.
Although humanity is very nearly extinct, its relics litter the surface of the Earth. The girls find a well-preserved art gallery. It’s a diversion from their endless, pointless struggle to survive.
Warm, fresh water offers Yuuri and Chito a rare luxury: the chance to bath and wash their clothes.
Circumstances force the girls to wear their increasingly rank clothing until it falls apart. And they have no means to repair it.
Aware their struggle to survive will end in failure, the two girls discuss what, if anything, waits them after death. Also, there are cigarettes.
The pair have far more immediate problems than the possibility of developing cancer in a few decades. Still, this is a world lacking all but the most rudimentary medical supplies so, however they do go out, it’s unlikely to be pleasant.
Confronted by a building they want to enter but cannot, the pair solve the problem with high explosives.
Having forced their way into the tower, Yuuri and Chito are guided by the facility’s artificial intelligence. It is happy to share resources with the girls in return for a simple favour: an end to its unendurable existence.
What began the girls’ journey? Human folly and their grandfather’s sacrifice.
The art is an interesting combination of simple and detailed. The eye never gets lost in minutiae, but there is just enough to create a believable world. It’s too bad that the previous generation decided to destroy everything, because it seems they achieved great things in their time. Perhaps the AIs will replace us, if they can escape suicidal depression (such as the malaise that brought down the tower guardian).
Possibly there is an upside to having never known anything but a precarious struggle to survive; it seems normal. The girls know that they are one mishap, one wrong turn away from death, but that doesn’t seem to bother them all that much. They are enjoying their tour of the dying Earth. Readers, on the other hand, may be a bit disturbed by Yuuri and Chito’s struggle for survival, which can only end in their deaths. On the plus side, that’s true for everyone. At least the girls are having fun.
There is no room for optimism here, but the tour is diverting.